The State (media company) is hiring a Retail Reporter. The retail beat on the business team is a critical, high-profile one for The State. It requires both a daily presence as well as enterprise work to help our community understand and make sense of a sector that has an extensive reach and impact throughout the city. The beat needs to connect with readers on multiple levels. This involves covering everything from openings and closings of shops and restaurants to making sense of the latest moves in Columbia, SC’s ongoing grocery store wars. Identifying customer-impact stories is vital to this beat, from changes at local malls to why food deserts persist in a city with supermarkets seemingly on every other corner. And this beat entails exploring retail business trends in Columbia that resonate with readers as well as spotting national trends that lend themselves to localizing. All components of the beat involve breaking news, building sources, poring through public databases, uncovering trends and talking to real people. This reporter should be excited about telling stories along a wide spectrum: stories that break news that’s exclusive to The State; explanatory journalism that tells readers how something works or what it means; analysis that goes deeper behind a current news event; alternative story forms that help readers understand an issue or event; narrative storytelling that’s compelling and engages readers more deeply with our journalism; and watchdog reporting that holds leaders, institutions or systems accountable.